Saturday, March 30, 2013

seeking our capacity to love without an agenda

Whatever our spiritual tradition, whether this time of year marks a particular time of reflection, celebration or remembrance, the challenge of our human condition always seems to be the same. The questions that matter are the same for all of us. 

Do we have the capacity to love without an agenda?  
Can we carry all that our lives hold with patience, compassion and forgiveness?
Can we live in this moment, now, without any assumptions?  

I'll go with a "yes". . .

Saturday, March 23, 2013

a wider perspective

Sometimes it is only when we step back and take a wider view that we can see and feel the impact of the beauty before us.   Only from this perspective can the wholeness and the richness of this moment sink in. 

Recently our support group spent time with specially selected pictures of our children  - arranging them into individual collages in memory of each beloved child.  Seeing those chosen memories together as one whole blessing helped to take in the precious gift of each child's life.  So many seemingly small moments coming together into one priceless and irreplaceable gift to carry with us and cherish with all the goodness that is in us.   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

nothing but tenderness

"the awakened heart is nothing but tenderness . . .
it feels soft and sore and if you open your eyes
to the rest of the world, you feel tremendous sadness. 
This occurs because your heart is completely exposed.
There is no protective covering. 
Your experience is raw and tender and so personal. 
It is this tender heart that has the power to heal the world."

                                                                                     from The Buddha is Still Teaching, edited by Jack Kornfield

Monday, March 11, 2013

some get it - some don't

A comment that I often hear in our support group conversations is “Well, he just ‘gets it , so I don’t have to explain.”  or  “It is so hard because as close as we’ve always been, she just doesn’t get it about this.”   Every grieving parent I have ever met  encounters similar reactions from friends and family.  And clearly one of the reasons that a support group feels so safe is because it is a room full of people who do “get it”.  And, as one woman put it, “They don’t squirm when I talk.”   

So what is the difference ?  Here are some of the responses I’ve heard about those who seem to understand, whether they have had similar experiences or not:

I can feel at ease around them because they don’t try to tell me what to do.

They let me feel what I feel.

They listen.  As long as I want to talk or cry, they listen.

I feel so crazy most of the time, but they don’t seem to notice.

They call and ask me what is hard about this now.

And here are some of the compassionate comments I hear about those who don’t seem to “get it”:    

They are just afraid that whatever they say will make me sad.  They don’t know they can’t make me sad, I already am.

They are so uncomfortable with my sorrow that they want to fix it.

They simply haven’t felt this way before, so they have no way to understand. 
It isn’t their fault.  They are just trying to help.

I scare them.  I am their living, breathing nightmare.

There is no question that particularly when grief is raw, some people drain our energy and some people help restore it.  So, especially during the most painful times, nurture yourself by limiting the time you spend with people who drain your energy and seek time with those who help you restore it.  Strange as it seems, your compassionate capacity to be with all kinds of people will in time become greater than it has ever been.  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

the wisdom of the mountain laurel

Spring is beginning to show herself outside my window.  Every year at this time I am immersed in memories of our son, Matt, as the mountain laurels in our yard put on their beautiful lavender color and shower our garden with their fragrance.  He loved mountain laurels, so he comforts to me through these beautiful flowers. 

And there is more reassurance offered during this time of year when I am open to see it.. . . . a sense of trust that the natural world offers my heart. 

Throughout the cold and dormant winter months, the mountain laurel stores up its energy . . . then, as the warmth of the sun and the promise of spring arrive, buds appear.  Slowly, nurtured by the world around them, they open into their full radiance. 

We are like that. Healing is like that.
What lies inside may need time to simply rest and grow strong . . . then, when the time is right, we, too,  will begin to open to the warmth and encouragement around us. . . . blossoming into fullness.